Tips for an Expectant Father
There are thousands of articles across the web for new and expectant moms. All too often, dads get left out. As an expectant dad, you are likely to want or need advice too, but you have may have no idea where to start. While we could write more words than War and Peace, we do not want to overwhelm you. Here are a few tips that will make your transition into fatherhood a little smoother.
Dads sometimes want everything to be perfect. If you are a handyman, you may even be the one putting together the furniture and getting the nursery ready. While your baby will need a place to sleep, babies don’t care or know if everything is perfect. If the room isn’t the precise shade of blue, pink, or yellow that you envisioned, all is not lost. Your little one doesn’t care. He or she will not know if you have no idea how to do any of these things. Maybe you are a fantastic artist, and building things isn’t your forte. Your baby will not care. You are not expected to know everything. Relax. Do the things you can, hire someone, or ask for help with the things you can’t. If your baby sleeps in a pack and play for a few days while you finish the crib, no one has to know. It’s not that big of a deal.
You Will Be Great
If you are reading this article, you are probably a little worried about being a new dad. Don’t worry, you will be fabulous. Remember, your baby does not need a perfect dad. They need a dad who cares about them. Show your child that you love him or her, and you will be the best dad in the world. Listen to his or her needs. Feeding times, changing diapers, and snuggles are great ways and quality time to show the little ones you love them. And as they grow, tea parties, superheroes, and building blocks are fantastic for showing older kids love. Sometimes, they just need a soft place to land. After a falling out with friends or a frustrating lesson, he or she will want your support. You need no special skills to listen.
Whether you and mom are in a relationship or not, moms will need your support. New parents find parenthood overwhelming. One of the best ways to overcome this is to work together. Take time to support mom’s choices and vocalize your preferences respectfully. Breastmilk versus formula, cloth, and disposable diapers, and cribs versus bassinets are all things you should work out together to decide before the baby arrives. It is okay to defer to mom on all of these things, but if you have a preference, it’s equally okay to state your feelings. As the baby gets older, support mom’s parenting and disciplinary choices as well. Present a united front. Any disagreements over this should not undermine either parent.
Find a Veteran Parent
Find a veteran father to talk to when you need help. Your own dad, the mother’s father, a friend, cousin, or other trusted father can help you get through the tough times. Parenthood is hard. No one is perfect. It is helpful to find a friend who can help you feel better and to give advice. This trusted parent mentor should not offer unsolicited advice however and should only help you talk through your concerns. You have to make your own choices. You will do fine.
You will be fine, and you need to relax are the best two pieces of advice anyone can give expectant fathers. There are plenty of books that tell you how to diaper, feed the baby, and prepare for the birth of your baby. The best thing you can do is nurture your own mental health by relaxing and just being there to participate in all the ordinary moments. You will be a great dad!